Mozambique cyclone death toll climbs to 417

Mozambique cyclone death toll climbs to 417

The death toll in Mozambique has climbed to 417 after a cyclone devastated swathes of the southern African country, flooding thousands of square kilometres, the government said on Saturday.

ANC secretary general Ace Magashule says he is "deeply moved and concerned" about the plight of the victims of Cyclone Idai, a tropical cyclone that hit Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi.

A million people have been affected by flooding in the wake of Idai that ripped through the region a week ago and 417 have been confirmed dead in Mozambique, Celso Correia, spokesman for the government's emergency response team, told reporters on Saturday.

He added that the Buzi and Zambezi could break their banks again as heavy rains inland poured into low-lying Beira and surrounding areas. We are saving a lot of lives as well, " Correia said. Local fishermen have joined the rescue efforts, ferrying stranded people about 50 or so at a time to the city's beach or port.

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"While acknowledgement of the principle of reciprocity in the Paris agreement was a major breakthrough and advancement on the Kyoto Protocol, the failure to make it a legally binding pact remains a major concern", Magashule said.

The storm has killed 259 in Zimbabwe, and the number was expected to rise, relief agencies said.

"Every day we discover that the destruction left by Cyclone Idai is worse than we imagined", Hicham Mandoudi, the International Committee of the Red Cross's head of sub-delegation in Beira, said in a statement. Preliminary estimations indicated that more than 1000 people died in Mozambique alone, and that hundreds more died in neighbouring Zimbabwe and Malawi.

Both Mr. Correia and Mr. Rhodes Stampa said that cholera and other water-borne diseases were not yet a problem, though floodwaters were dirty and the risk of disease spreading was high.

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